I’m in trouble again. My attitude is not what it should be for a woman of my age it seems. Yesterday, whilst out walking, I met a couple who told me about a walk they were doing. They outlined the route and said it was a walk they often did and it took them about an hour. I came home thinking I’d like to do that walk too.
So today I persuaded Mr Midlife to accompany me on this hour long hike. All went well initially. We parked the car at the same spot I’d parked at the previous day, we climbed over the gate and set off up the hill with our dog, Alfie. It was quite a climb to the top, then the track meandered up and down the hills, past a ruined farm, until it eventually joined the Viking Way just above Tealby. Once we reached Tealby it really wasn’t clear which road or lane we should take to lead us back to our car, so we took what looked like the most likely track and kept on walking. It was very icy underfoot, and we slipped and slid along the lanes.
20 minutes later we were no nearer to the place we’d left the car. We could see the road miles below, but couldn’t see a track to get us to it. A couple of walkers coming from the opposite direction advised us that it would take another hour to reach the place we needed to be at if we continued, so we turned around and trekked back down to the village, knowing we would have to follow the main road back to the car.
No footpath along the main road meant we were risking life and limb and dog and Mr Midlife was less than happy by now. A mile or so further on we reached the spot where we’d left the car, and whilst I was investigating the possible directions we could have taken to come back along, I spotted a couple of walkers over the road, unlocking the gate that we had initially climbed over when we had set out.
I called out hello and was greeted back quite politely with a question asking if we had walked up that particular track earlier. Well yes I replied – the views were lovely. Why do you ask?
I thought it was you, said the woman, you walked right by our house earlier. I saw you. Did you not know that these tracks are all private property?
Well, how could I know that, I thought? I replied that I had been advised the previous day that the locals walked that way regularly, and that it was OK to do so.
No, it’s not OK she tells me. And her husband is shaking his head too. It dawned on me that this couple are the owners, the farmers who look after this land and all the sheep that graze it. I could only apologise.
Meantime, Mr Midlife is busying himself with getting the dog loaded into the car, and removing his coat ready for the short drive home. He’s absolutely not wanting to get involved in the conversation at all.
So the journey home consisted of one long lecture. About trespassing. About tramping through someone else’s garden. We hadn’t gone through any gardens. Just fields. About invading privacy, and how would I like it if someone did that to me? About being irresponsible. There was no reasoning with Mr Midlife. So I just listened. And laughed. Out loud I’m afraid. Which really didn’t help matters. But I couldn’t stop myself.
Anyone would think that we had committed a major crime. We definitely had trespassed. But unknowingly. Mr Midlife’s argument was that all the way along the route he hadn’t seen a single Right of Way sign. For God’s sake.
I am of the opinion that Mr Midlife began to panic when we didn’t quite know how to get back to our starting point. You see, Mr Midlife likes to have things orderly and plans clearly laid out before embarking on any exercise. Any deviation from this and his grumpy old man tendencies become very apparent. And there lies the problem – I had a rough idea of the route we would take. More than that didn’t seem necessary as we were never going to be more than half an hour away from the village anyway. We differ in our approach to things.
In conclusion, the one hour walk we embarked upon took us over two hours. What I estimated to be four miles turned out to be nearer eight. It has been a beautiful day, cold, clear and frosty, just right for trotting up hill and down dale. Will I be asking Mr Midlife to accompany me again on impromptu Lincolnshire Wolds walks? No, I will not. Don’t know what he’s done with it, but he’s definitely lost his sense of adventure.